The word “taqwacore” is taken from a novel by Michael Muhammad Knight, The Taqwacores, combining “taqwa,” an Arabic word for God-consciousness, with “hardcore”. His book, about a group of young Islamic punk rockers, inspired the creation of an actual Muslim punk scene.
The first half of Omar Majeed’s documentary deals with this burgeoning scene as a group of bands travel together touring the American countryside. Young, disaffected and secular, these musicians are caught between two worlds: the Islamic culture from which they come, and the Western culture in which they are coming of age.
In the second half, the setting moves to Pakistan, where the bands have travelled to perform. Author Knight is along for the ride to observe and comment on the reality his writing has created.